Friday, October 5, 2007

472 days, 0 hours, 30 minutes, 28 seconds

Given a half dose of steroids and twenty minutes, she can even double-tie her shoes. This is progress. She remembers her mother's shoes with velcro closures. The pride in her husband's voice, the only boy in kindergarten who could tie his shoes. The rocking horse in the one children's shoe store that she loved to bounce up and down on and the x-ray machine that terrified her. There were the multi-colored sneakers she wanted one summer with L and R printed boldly on the toes, and how her mother refused to buy them and she still can't always remember which way is left.

472 days, 19 hours, 5 minutes, 42 seconds

She bids on a Ben Casey "She'll be going home soon" puzzle (#3 in the series, third on a match), and buys an unopened board game. She also bids on a Ken doll in a Ben Casey doctor suit (made in Hong Kong and still shrink-wrapped). Hopefully the laad won't leak. Four days, seven hours left before she wins. She increases her bid. She needs Ken not Ben tonight. And he'll stay home with her tomorrow. Ken. Ben. Ken. Ben. Then.

472 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes, 38 seconds

So she orders the full set of Ben Casey shows on DVD – 28 disks, 102 episodes, 1961 to 1966, thinking maybe those scenes of doctors working so hard against all odds might work as bedtime stories. She used to leave the room or shut her eyes during the operating room scenes in those days. Maybe she still will. 102 episodes, and actually she reads elsewhere there were 153 episodes, possibly this is missing the first season. It might take ten days to ship. Then 102 Arabian nights, skip a few, round it off to 125 nights. Bush will have 347 days left in office. Less than a year. But it'll be enough to bring back Kennedy's Camelot. To make her understand how lucky she is now. Not only modern medicine, but the doctors care. Or two, at least, one she called at home late tonight, the other immediately returned her page. Still her panic continues. Klonipin doesn't do a damned thing. Ben's chipped head bobbles. She's placed him on the bed sideboard now, opposite her own head, trusting he won't fall and hurt her (if there's an Earthquake, Mary wants a teddy bear to wake her). There was the afternoon she watched the Ben Casey rerun, then prayed not to wake. These nights she's unsure what to pray for.

472 days, 22 hours, 29 minutes, 51 seconds

New Jersey on Monday joined seven states in filing separate lawsuits against the Bush administration's challenge of proposed federal rules the states say will force poor children to lose health coverage. "The Bush administration has gone beyond its regulatory rights," New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine said as he announced the lawsuit at an East Orange health center.

473 days, 2 hours, 24 minutes, 9.8 seconds

She almost bought an orange hat in the consignment store today. Then she saw the price tag. Rust might be more fitting anyway.

473 days, 2 hours, 57 minutes, 39 seconds

Balloon head. Swelled head. Hippopotamus. The orange is personal. And she'll never have children.